ANKARA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan was a well-wisher of Afghanistan and always desired its peace and stability besides wanting to contribute to the country’s development.
“Afghanistan should realise that Pakistan is its well-wisher,” he said during an interaction with journalists at a breakfast meeting prior to his departure from Ankara after completing his three-day visit.
To a question about recent terror incidents in Pakistan, the premier said although many links had been traced back into Afghanistan, Pakistan continued to favour stability of its neighbour. “A peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region,” he added.
Mentioning several infrastructure projects in Afghanistan being funded by the Pakistan government, Nawaz said the four-lane Peshawar to Jalalabad motorway was 70 per cent complete and feasibility work was underway on Peshawar-Kabul motorway.
“We believe in maintaining good relations with all and we demonstrated this spirit of goodwill with other states and within the country as well,” he said.
PM Nawaz, who participated in the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) meeting here, said his government was, in particular, focusing on bringing improvement in areas of infrastructure, energy and law and order.
To a question about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister said he did not sense any conspiracy by the United States or West on the project’s implementation in Pakistan.
However, he pointed that “some regional powers” were unhappy with this project. He viewed that Turkish participation in the CPEC along with Central Asian states would give a boost to the project.
He said his visit to Turkey was significant in strengthening the bilateral and economic prospects.
He said his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on several areas, including issues related to Syria, Russia and Daesh, besides stressing early finalisation of Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Turkey.
The premier said he wanted everyone to contribute towards the national progress and development. He also mentioned that the governments of different political parties in all provinces were indeed a test of their performance before the public. He said the people in the country had a realisation as to which political party was, in fact, taking steps for their welfare.
The prime minister said previous governments paid no heed to the projects of energy and infrastructure.
However, he added, his government not only launched several projects but also saved billions of national exchequer in their implementation.
Nawaz mentioned that of the road projects launched with Rs 1100 billion, a saving of Rs 30 billion was made by the National Highways Authority.
He told media that there was a remarkable difference in load shedding while comparing the situation in 2013 and 2017.
Long power outages had immensely decreased and the industrial sector was being supplied uninterrupted electricity as per their demand, he added.
To a question on the fate of military courts, the PM said a consensus was being achieved in this regard and decision would be taken in near future.
To a question on the misreporting by media about any blast in Gulberg area of Lahore, the premier said that it was extremely positive that discussions against such irresponsible reporting had already started within the media as self-accountability was the best way forward.